PokerStars Is Hiring: Do You Have the Skills They are Looking For?

Pokerstars has posted no less then 72 jobs listings for their company. Many of the opportunities include poker positions as well as casino positions.

Interested in working in the online poker or iGaming industry, and working for one of the top ranked large companies in the UK? If you answered yes, the Rational Group, the parent company of PokerStars, has 72 job openings listed at and on their own careers page. Some of the positions have been open for several months.

The positions available run the gamut in terms of skills, from Graphic Design and Front End Developers, to Brand Marketing Manager, to an Assistant Tournament Director on Macau. They also run the gamut when it comes to location, as the company is hiring in the Isle of Man, Costa Rica, the UK, Australia, Malta, Macau, and Ireland.

From the moment they purchased the company, PokerStars new owners, Amaya Gaming, stated their intention to expand the company’s verticals, particularly in casino and sports betting, and hiring 72 individuals can certainly be deemed a pretty  serious expansion for an online gaming company. Although it should be noted PokerStars presently employees over 1,500 employees – so much for online poker not being a job creator eh?

Casino and Sports Betting Openings

A full 27 of the 72 listings mention casino either in the job title or in the summary of duties.

Additionally, seven of the 72 jobs are sports book specific (two additional openings mention sports betting in their descriptions of job duties), including Regional Manager openings in UK and Ireland, Nordics, and Eastern Europe.

One particular job of interest would be the full-time position: Head of Sportsbook Marketing. The position’s purpose and responsibilities were explained thusly:

Working within the strategy and business plan for Sportsbook as set and controlled by the Group’s central management based in the Isle of Man, leading Sportsbook marketing by defining and owning marketing strategies that ensure we deliver a world class offering. You will work closely with the Sportsbook senior management and product team and be responsible for defining the Sportsbook customer experience and marketing strategy for the Rational Group Sportsbook product.

Poker Positions

As would be expected, 69 of the 72 job openings mention poker at some point, but only a few of the positions are poker positions exclusively. Among the “Poker-Specific” job openings are:

Poker Analyst – Tournament Script Writer – Location: Isle of Man

Tournament Script Writers are primarily responsible for the configuration of thousands of PokerStars scheduled tournaments and satellites that run each day. Script writers communicate with both internal and external customers as necessary to complete work. They also contribute to team decisions made regarding tournament offerings, features, and standards.

Poker Economy Manager – Location: Isle of Man

The Poker Economy Manager will work with owners of the rewards program and each game type to identify areas of potential improvement in pricing and rewards and develop detailed proposals for changes to be made.

Ring Games Manager – Location: Isle of Man

The Ring Games Manager will be responsible for utilizing player and colleague input and analysis of player behaviour to suggest and implement changes to PokerStars’ ring game offerings.

When Will U.S. Jobs Be Posted?

Unfortunately, none of the jobs are located in the United States, or in any way indicate the position would handle duties in the U.S. based on their descriptions.

Perhaps there will be a new rash of job postings in the near future for positions in New Jersey?

New Jersey Lucks Out With New York Casino Locations

The Lago, Montreign, and Rivers Casinos were all granted licenses for business. However, they will still need to go through an orderly vetting process.

With four potential licenses up for grabs and roughly twenty proposals to consider, a five-member New York gaming panel approved three casinos in the upstate New York area, passing on a location closer to New York City (and the state’s southern border), and approving just three proposals instead of the allotted four.

The three casino proposals must still go through the strict vetting process before ground can be broken.

When all is said and done, the three properties are expected to create some 5,000 jobs and translate into $300 million in yearly tax revenue for the state when they open several years down the road – most of the revenue projections call for 2019.

You can find more information on the regions as well as a list of all the applicants here.

New Jersey Gets a Slight Reprieve

The location of the three new casinos will likely be cheered on the other side of the Hudson River in New Jersey, where legitimate fears about further cannibalization of the New Jersey gaming industry if a casino opened in or around NYC were rife.

Casinos popping up in southern New York would have been even more problematic as New Jersey continues to consider expansion outside of Atlantic City, where a proposed northern casino, close to the New York border in the Meadowlands area is being pushed for.

Interestingly, New York’s choices open their own casinos up to cannibalization from New Jersey should the Meadowlands or some other northern New Jersey become a reality.

The Winners

The three “Las Vegas style resort casinos” will be located in Schenectady in what was called the capital region, Tyre (near Seneca Falls) in what was known as the Finger Lakes region, and Thompson (near Monticello) in the Catskills region.

  • Lago Resort: Located in the Finger Lakes region of western New York, the 200-room, $425 million casino project will feature “thousands of slot machines” and a 1,700 theater.
  • Montreign Resort Casino: Just outside of Monticello, and about an hour north of New York City, the near 400-room hotel will also feature its own golf course and plenty of entertainment options in its $630 million budget to try to lure some of NYC’s eight million residents to its doors.
  • Rivers Casino: Located just outside of Albany in Schenectady, the $300 million project will feature 150 rooms on a waterfront site.

Caesars Not On The List

After failing to secure one of the licenses in Massachusetts earlier this year, Caesars Entertainment now finds itself shutout of New York as well, as their proposed casino in Orange County was not selected by the gaming panel.

Caesars had proposed a $880 million casino in Woodbury, New York , which seemed like one of the better positioned, and grander proposals the New York gaming panel had to consider. The area is already well-trafficked by locals and tourists, and is located about 50 miles of New York City.

While no reason was given, the company’s mounting debt, continued restructuring, and potential date with a bankruptcy court may have given the panel cause for concern.

Caesars also ran into a snag in Massachusetts when the Massachusetts Gaming Commission raised concerns over Mitch Garber’s past connections, and his present role with the company. Instead of fighting the MGC, Caesars withdrew their Massachusetts proposal.

AC Somewhat Safe, PA Not So Much

While Atlantic City and the rest of New Jersey can breathe a sigh of relief as the closest casino to their border with New York City is still a two hour drive, the Thompson Casino is just an hour from many locations in Pennsylvania.

With even more competition, both states’ (Pennsylvania and New Jersey) gaming halls are likely to lose some of the traffic coming south from New York, but it appears that Pennsylvania should be more concerned about its residents travelling north  to the new New York casinos.

Coalition of New Jersey Casinos Urge Congress to Reject RAWA

A group of 6 Atlantic City casinos have come together to fight RAWA, the bill seeking to ban online gambling. Here’s how you can help support their actions.

Sheldon Adelson and his campaign to ban online gambling have been getting the Daniel Powter  treatment lately, with everyone from Ron Paul to Grover Norquist basically telling Adelson and his cohorts to go pound sand.

The Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) bills and the people pushing them are finding it a bit more difficult when people actually fight back, and the chances that RAWA (in any form) will pass through Congress during the Lame Duck session is growing smaller by the day.

However, RAWA is not a lost cause, and  proponents of legalizing and regulating online gambling need to keep the pressure on Adelson and company, and this is exactly what the Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) did on Tuesday, when they urged New Jersey’s Congressional Delegates to fight back against RAWA:

  1. take all action to oppose the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” and preserve the State of New Jersey’s authorization and strict regulation of internet gambling and the right of all states to determine whether or not they desire to allow or prohibit specific forms of gambling,
  2. explain to your congressional colleagues the danger the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” poses to their respective states by undermining each state’s right to determine whether or not it desires to allow or prohibit specific forms of gambling,
  3. educate your congressional colleagues regarding the safe and secure environment the State of New Jersey has created for online gambling through strict regulatory technological safeguards compared to the disastrous alternative of gambling on illegal, black-market websites, and
  4. prevent a violation of the rights and protections guaranteed to the State of New Jersey under the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Who is CANJ

CANJ bills itself as “… a collective voice for the Atlantic City casino industry,” according to their website, and is made up of a coalition of Atlantic City’s casinos that includes six of the seven active operators in AC: Bally’s, Borgata, Caesars, Harrah’s, Resorts, and Tropicana – The Golden Nugget is not a member of CANJ.

As was first reported by’s John Brennan, CANJ sent a message to New Jersey’s federal congressional delegation urging them to oppose RAWA in any way shape or form.

The message from CANJ cites several reasons for opposition from jobs and economic impacts in New Jersey to new safeguards for players and the squeezing of illegal offshore sites.

Full Message from CANJ:


  • WHEREAS, The Casino Association of New Jersey (CANJ) membership include: Bally’s, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa Caesar’s Atlantic City, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, Resorts Casino Hotel and Tropicana Casino and Resort; and
  • WHEREAS, CANJ provides a collective voice for the Atlantic City casino industry by facilitating the exchange of information and ideas between our industry, the tens of thousands of employees that have direct and indirect jobs tied to the industry, small businesses throughout the State and other Atlantic City stakeholders that receive direct and indirect benefits from the industry; and
  • WHEREAS, the New Jersey’s legislature, consistent with its police powers and the right of every state to determine its laws on gambling, enacted N.J. Assembly Bill No. 2578 (2012), which authorized Atlantic City casinos to offer internet gaming within the State of New Jersey, which bill was signed into law by Governor Christie on February 26,2013; and
  • WHEREAS, in authorizing internet gambling, the State of New Jersey made great strides in designing a regulatory framework that allows thousands of adults to use the internet to gamble in New Jersey in a safe and secure environment which includes strict regulatory technological safeguards to: (i) prevent minors from gambling, (ii) deal with problem gambling issues, (iii) ensure that games are fair and honest and that all gambling occurs intra-state within New Jersey, (iv) collect taxes on revenues generated and (v) comply with federal bank secrecy and other laws; and
  • WHEREAS, the legalization of internet gambling in the State of New Jersey has proven to be successful in reducing the number of consumers availing themselves to illegal, black-market websites that have proliferated in New Jersey that fail to provide: (i) protections against underage gambling, (ii) protections for problem gamblers, (iii) protections against consumer fraud and criminal activity; (iv) tax revenues; and (v) compliance with the federal bank secrecy laws;
  • WHEREAS, if enacted, the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” introduced as S.2159 and H.R.4301 in the 113th Congress, would prohibit the transmission by wire communication of any bet or wager or of information assisting in the placement of any bet or wager, including internet gaming; and
  • WHEREAS, there have been continued reports in the media that Congress may act on this bill in the lame duck session of Congress which would effectively render New Jersey’s regulation of internet gambling illegal;
  • WHEREAS, the enactment of a federal prohibition against internet gaming would violate the Tenth Amendment right of each state to determine gambling policy within its borders and directly and negatively impact the State of New Jersey by preempting New Jersey’s existing laws on internet gambling, causing the loss of millions of dollars invested to date, robbing the State of tax revenues and ongoing economic and employment opportunities for its residents, and foreclosing the potential of casino licensees to foster and create jobs and valuable business ventures focused in the high-tech industry and development of new computer and software technology;
  • WHEREAS, enactment of the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” would be inimical to the interests New Jersey, which has been at the forefront of developing and maintaining a well-regulated casino industry for over three decades;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that in consideration of the foregoing, the CANJ urges the New Jersey Congressional delegation to (i) take all action to oppose the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” and preserve the State of New Jersey’s authorization and strict regulation of internet gambling and the right of all states to determine whether or not they desire to allow or prohibit specific forms of gambling, (ii) explain to your congressional colleagues the danger the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” poses to their respective states by undermining each state’s right to determine whether or not it desires to allow or prohibit specific forms of gambling, (iii) educate your congressional colleagues regarding the safe and secure environment the State of New Jersey has created for online gambling through strict regulatory technological safeguards compared to the disastrous alternative of gambling on illegal, black-market websites, and (iv) prevent a violation of the rights and protections guaranteed to the State of New Jersey under the Tenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

NJ DGE Fines Caesars $10k for Violating iGaming Regulations

The New Jersey Division of Gaming fined Caesars Interactive $10,000 for sending promotional e-mails to 250 people on the state’s self-exclusion list.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming handed down a $10,000 fine to Caesars Interactive for sending promotional e-mails to 250 people on the state’s self-exclusion list according to the Press of Atlantic City.

As the industry approaches its one-year anniversary, this is the first fine an online gaming company has received in New Jersey. However, as I’ll explain below, don’t expect this to be the last.

After realizing the mistake had occurred, Caesars self-reported the violation to the New Jersey DGE.

According to Caesars Interactive’s Vice President of Communications Seth Palansky, the e-mails were an oversight by the company, and the backend system glitch that caused promotional material to be sent to some 250 people on the self-exclusion list between the dates of February 16 and May 28 has been corrected.

Palansky told the Press of AC that the company regrets “the harm this incident may have caused.” Palansky went on to say, “We can assure the public that this lapse on our part was not an intentional targeting of these patrons, but simply a back-end software issue that failed to properly scrub our database before certain mailings.”

Bound to happen

While an unfortunate incident, it should be noted that fines of this type are bound to happen. Be it banks or brick & mortar casinos, errors occur, and the online gambling industry is no different.

Brick & Mortar casino are routinely fined by the state gaming commissions and control boards tasked with overseeing the industry – and like the Caesars Interactive fine, many of these violations are self-reported as well. These fines can be for any number of transgressions, from incorrect slot machine settings, to credit violations, to allowing access to underage and problem gamblers, to faulty promotional offers, to employment issues.

The point is, these things happen, and like the brick & mortar industry, the iGaming providers in New Jersey will have to pay the piper when they occur.

Fine will have positive and negative consequences

The fine will almost certainly be used against the industry by its critics, but in the end it demonstrates how important regulations are, and why consumers are much better off with legal online gambling. Nothing is perfect and human errors will occur.

So even though the fine will provide easy fodder for Sheldon Adelson and the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling (CSIG), it still seems as though it can be turned into a net positive. Remember that Sheldon Adelson said something to the effect that “there is no regulation in place at a land based casino that can be enforced online,” during his impassioned keynote speech at G2E 2014.

Well Mr. Adelson, allow me to present Exhibit A, the NJ DGE’s fine levied against Caesars Interactive for violating the self-exclusion list policies.

The fine handed down by the New Jersey DGE also shows:

  1. The regulations that have been put in place not only work but can be enforced
  2. The current companies involved in the industry are legitimate, good actors, and are not going to cover things up

To offer a comparison, what are the chances that a current unlicensed site maintains a self-exclusion, would adhere to it, and would self-report itself for violating it?

Make no mistake about it, New Jerseyans are much better off with a company that has the occasional slip-up (and pays the price for those errors) than Option B, which would be the return of unregulated online sites who answer to no one.

New Jersey Traffic Report: Halloween, Lack of Player Incentives Cause Market to Lag

On Halloween, New Jersey online poker traffic hit it’s lowest point since entering the market. Although not all is bad, as Party / Borgata were successful.

Last week, the allure of candy, ghost stories and mischief lured NJ grinders away from the comfort of their computer chairs. As a result, on All Hallows’ Eve, total cash game traffic on the Garden State’s poker sites dropped to its lowest point of the year.

This isn’t the first time a holiday has wrecked havoc on liquidity. As far back as early-February, the Super Bowl precipitated an 18% volume drop. Labor Day too, had a devastating effect on cash game traffic.

But the difference between then and now is that, in my estimation, the market can no longer afford to shed customers. Or at least, not before considering serious cutbacks to their already mediocre welcome packages, loyalty programs and promotional offerings.

Speaking of which, the recent downtrend wasn’t helped by the gross absence of promotional vehicles. Time and time again, end of month liquidity has suffered because there is a notable gap, be it three days, a week or more, between the conclusion of one promotional cycle and the advent of the next. And with each cycle, the industry bleeds a few more players.

Granted, it’s not the sole factor driving the industry’s cash game tallies down into the dumps, but it is one operators have the immediate ability to rectify –, I’m looking at you.

And with that, here’s a look at this week’s numbers:

NJ cash game traffic by the number

Listed below are current 7-day cash game averages for NJ sites (last week’s figures in parenthesis):

Data provided by PokerFuse Pro via PokerScout.

In mid-October, was breathing down the neck of closest rival Party / Borgata, but since, the latter has reestablished a 18% lead. I would expect to make up some, if not all, of its lost ground in the upcoming weeks, as many of the site’s newest promos, Rising Ranks included, are targeted directly at recreational cash game players.

Party, on the other hand, appears to have shifted its promotional focus away from poker entirely, instead opting to promote its casino games. Which would be fine if its partner wasn’t offering the same blase promotions for the past 4-5 months.

In fact, the Borgata’s only new promotion for November is more of an event than a promotion. The Fall Poker Open Championship Qualifier is a series of three preliminary satellites and one direct qualifier into this month’s Poker Open Championship, held at the Borgata’s brick & mortar casino in Atlantic City. It’s also one of the weaker cross-promotional events in recent memory.

That leaves us with 888, which has chosen to take the lazy man’s route and extend its current Fall Festival promo as opposed to offering anything new.

Overall, traffic in NJ is down 2.9% since last week and 10.6% over the past two, but trending upward. Global numbers are up nearly 4% over an equivalent time frame, indicating that the long overdue seasonal surge is finally in full effect.

Tournament review: Weekend turnouts on Party / Borgata soar

It’s difficult to say why, but tournament traffic on Party / Borgata this weekend was notably up.

To illustrate:

  • The network’s flagship tournament, a $185+$15, $50,000 GTD, drew 291 runners. This is significant for two reasons. For one it marked a 10% increase in week-over-week turnouts, and secondly, it was the first time in quite some time that the network wasn’t forced to pay an overlay.
  • Turnouts for Sunday’s $10,000 GTD were also up (159 vs. 134 last week), creating a prize pool of $14,469.
  • Saturday’s $10k drew 117 combatants, a staggering 34% more than the week before.

Week-over-week turnouts for WSOP’s and 888’s Majors were about on par with what they were last week.

If I had to guess, the looming presence of the Borgata Poker Open was at least partially accountable for the above average turnouts on Party / Borgata.

Future outlook

The immediate future of NJ’s iPoker industry is very much dependent on several variables, including:

  • PokerStars: Should the online gaming giant launch in NJ within the next several weeks, expect its presence to have an immediate and marketed effect on total cash game liquidity.
  • Paypal: If the rumors are true, Paypal will be available as a payment option by the end of this year. The payment processor’s entry into the regulated gambling landscape probably won’t have a huge short-term impact, but could entice players that have had their credit / debit card transactions denied to give regulated gambling another go.
  • The Borgata Poker Open: It will be interesting to see if tournament volume on Party / Borgata remains high for the duration of the Open.
  • Software patches: NJ’s poker clients haven’t seen substantial upgrades in what feels like forever. A feature rich patch that addresses lingering geolocation issues may lure frustrated players back to the virtual felt.
  • Thanksgiving: While I expect traffic to dip on Thanksgiving Day, a high number of 9-5 employees are expected to take that week off, which could lead to a temporary traffic surge.

House Judiciary Committee May Hold iGaming Hearing During Lame Duck

The House Judiciary Committee might host a hearing soon to determine the future of online gambling and whether or not a bill should be passed that bans it.

According to a report by Gambling Compliance (paywall article is located here) the House Judiciary Committee, chaired by UIGEA architect Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), may host a hearing on a potential online gambling ban when Congress reconvenes following the midterm elections.

According to Gambling Compliance, the hearing could serve two purposes.

The first would be to appease Adelson, one of the GOP’s biggest political donors. While gambling bills, particularly online gambling bills are not votes many members of Congress want to take considering their paradoxical elements – pitting state’s rights against social conservatism – a hearing doesn’t put lawmakers on the record either for or against the measure.

The second purpose could be to shield Congress from criticism if an online gambling ban is somehow passed.  Unlike the criticism Congress received following the passage of UIGEA (which was attached to the Safe Ports Act of 2006 literally in the middle of the night), a House Judiciary hearing debating the merits of RAWA allows Congress to make the case that the bill (or some version of it) wasn’t passed in a clandestine manner.

Rumors of a potential “November Surprise” have been kicking around since September, when the first reports that Congress might take up Sheldon Adelson’s Restoration of Americas Wire Act (RAWA) during the “Lame Duck” session came into being.

Still, a lot of pieces have to fall into place for RAWA to make its way through Congress.

A lot has changed since December 2013

The last online gambling hearing at the federal level occurred in December of 2013, where Sheldon Adelson’s mouthpiece Andy Abboud received a severe dressing down by members of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, particularly, Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).

Since that time things have changed, and not for the better if you’re an iGaming advocate.

The hearing in 2013 came on the heels of the fairly successful launch of online gambling in New Jersey (which was preceded by Delaware and Nevada), and during the December 2013 hearing American Gaming Association (AGA) President Geoff Freeman spoke at length in favor of federal legalization of online gambling.

But just a year later the entire landscape has changed, and instead of a possible federal bill legalizing online gambling we are fighting against an online gambling ban, and the AGA has decided this is a fight they don’t want to be involved in.

Could an iGaming ban really pass Congress?

While nothing is out of the question, especially during a Lame Duck session, a bill for or against online gambling still seems like a long shot – and as GC is reporting, casinos corporations are fighting to keep the feds out of this fight, preferring to leave legislation up to the states.

The chances that some form of RAWA move through Congress during the Lame Duck will come down to three things in my opinion.

#1: How many seats change hands

The more outgoing members of Congress the better the chance RAWA has of progressing through both Houses of Congress. When political careers are over (read as: losing an election) legislators no longer have to worry about their public polling numbers and can either vote their own will, or perhaps do someone a solid – especially if that solid could land them a sweet job post-Congressional career.

The more Lame Ducks that are in Congress during the Lame Duck, the more concerned we should be about a possible online gambling ban passing.

#2: How many seats the Republicans gain

While Republicans are no more likely to be for or against online gambling than democrats they are far more likely to owe allegiance to Sheldon Adelson. And in most cases Adelson probably played some role in getting them reelected, and can also be a strong ally or opponent when they are up for reelection.

#3: Harry Reid

This is the real wild card in the whole mix. If Adelson wants something passed he has to have Reid’s support.  Reid’s support will likely be influenced by who controls the senate after November 4th, and also by how much Sheldon Adelson is willing to compromise on various carveouts.

Reid has been trying to pass an online poker bill (with bans on other casino games) since 2010, and is expected to try once again this year.

Gambling Compliance is reporting that Tom Cole (R-OK) “warned tribal officials last month that Reid is more likely to move aggressively on Internet gambling if Republicans win majority control of the Senate on Election Day.” This could mean that Reid will be more amenable to Adelson should his title turn into “Minority Leader” after the elections.

On this front, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) Vice President of Player Relations Rich Muny has wondered where Reid’s allegiances will lead him if online poker is off the table and he has to choose between a complete ban or the status quo.

What about the president?

Where does the last line of defense stand on this issue? At this point it’s quite unclear, considering the wishy-washy answer the President’s office gave on this issue back in May of 2012 when over 10,000 people signed a White House petition asking for the President’s position on online poker, which was written by Brian Deese, who was at the time the Deputy Director of the Economic Council:

“The Administration understands that many Americans engage in paid online poker games for entertainment purposes. Online gambling on sporting events or contests violates federal law. The legality of other forms of online gambling is dependent upon the law of the states where the bettor or gambling business is located. It is left to each state to determine whether it wishes to permit such activity between its residents and an online poker business authorized by that state to accept such wagers, but online gambling that is not authorized by state law may also violate federal statutes.

“The rapid and anonymous nature of the internet distinguishes online games from onsite games, such as those in casinos, and creates distinct challenges. For example, there are many means of technologically circumventing restrictions on online gambling that can allow individuals from countries where gambling is illegal — or even minors — to play using real currency. Online games also have greater potential for fraud because gambling websites are much cheaper and easier to establish than on-site locations, and like telemarketing scams, can appear and disappear overnight. Finally, online gambling can be used in money laundering schemes because of the volume, speed, anonymity, and international reach made possible by internet transactions. The Administration will continue to examine this issue and is open to solutions that would help guard against the use of online gambling sites as tools for conducting illegal activities or preying on unsuspecting individuals to the extent that online gambling is permitted.”

Not a glowing endorsement, but then again, it’s not a blistering repudiation either.

If a bill does pass Congress a presidential veto is far from a given, as President Obama hasn’t proven himself to be an ally of online gambling. However, I wouldn’t rule out such a veto either. President Obama would be no fan of the coalition that passes this bill and could always do so on the state’s rights grounds cited in the White House’s official response to the May 2012 petition.